discussions · fiction · YA

Discussion: The YA versus Adult Debate

The age old question: YA or Adult Fiction?

Recently, I came across something on Twitter and it got me thinking. There was someone (I really don’t know who, and it’s not really important) who said that they read YA for diversity and that adult fiction is only “white men cheating”. So I’d like to put in my two cents on the whole YA is better than Adult and vice versa thing.

Young Adult fiction got me into the online book community. I was always a huge reader, there wasn’t a point in time when I wasn’t reading. However, once I got a glimpse into the wast expanse that is YA, I started to scour the Internet in order to locate more books like The Hunger Games. This lead to me finding Goodreads, which lead to me finding Booktube, all of which finally lead to this very blog. So I love YA. Truly. Some of my favorite books are YA (just look how many posts I dedicated to The Raven Cycle or Six of Crows).

However, I started losing interest in YA, and now I predominantly read Adult fiction. And I love it. YA tends to be very tropey, and once you’ve read the amount of books I did, you get tired of seeing the same old trope used again and again. Which isn’t to say that Adult fiction is in any way, shape, or form better than YA. It just means that for me personally, right now, Adult fiction works better.

The problem I have with the statement of adult fic being “white men cheating” is the simple fact that it’s just not true. I have read wonderful, diverse adult books that decidedly do not deal with “white men cheating”. There’s so much out there that you could be reading and there’s so much stories that you could experience, and there’s no reason to say something about a genre that just isn’t realistic. Keep in mind Adebayo’s Stay With Me or Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi or Celeste Ng or Ngozi Adichie. Those are real, wonderful voice that don’t write about white men cheating. They exist and they should not be dismissed.

YA has improved a lot when it comes to diversity and representation. It’s true. But that wasn’t always the case. And same goes for Adult Fiction. You have to choose to seek out those stories and to strive as a community towards better and more diverse reads.

What I am trying to say is that I have very little understanding towards the whole “this is better and that other thing is stupid” state of mind. You choose what to read and you should choose whatever works best for you. But there’s no reason to be dismissive of the other thing just because you prefer the other.

I read both YA and Adult and I have read wonderful books from both genres. You can find a lot of good books (both YA and Adult) on this blog. So I am not saying “GO read Adult fiction” I am just saying that there’s so much out there that you could be reading and there’s no reason to not look for things that work for you, that are diverse and have beautiful stories.

So that’s it for this post! Obviously, this is a discussion so I would love to hear from you? Is one genre better than the other? What do you mostly read? How do you find unique voices in the genre? Let me know!


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13 thoughts on “Discussion: The YA versus Adult Debate

  1. I love both young adult and adult fiction and I don’t think one is more diverse than the other. Maybe they think that because popular ya books are usually diverse, whereas popular adult books are not – doesn’t mean there aren’t any diverse adult books out there. Maybe I’m wrong though! Great discussion post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Right now, I love YA more, but that might be because I haven’t found adult fiction that I love. I don’t mind many of the YA tropes, while I do mind many of the adult fiction tropes. I find adult fiction harder to relate to, and from what I’ve read, more slow-paced, which is something that makes me less excited to read it. I can’t say much about the diversity in adult fiction, but I do think that YA fiction is really making progress and I still love it, so I will keep reading it. I have nothing against adult fiction, I think both age ranges have their pro’s and their con’s and it would NOT be okay to say the one is better or worse than the other. It’s just a matter of preference 🙂
    Great discussion!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally get what you’re trying to say. I tend to go through phases in which I get back into YA and then one book sends me running back to Adult fiction 😂 But yeah, my whole point is that everybody has a preference, and that diveristy is something we struggle towards in literature as a whole. Thanks so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well said. I started reading more adult fiction because as I grew up I found it more relatable. However, I still read a couple of YA books a month because I still love the stories and characters. I think it’s dumb to dismiss a book just because of the age group. I’ll always have favorites and least favorites in both.
    And as anything if you want or don’t want a certain type of book you have to search for it. I think maybe one or two adult books I’ve read this year were the type she read because I don’t enjoy those so I don’t read them.

    Liked by 1 person

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